Susan Glaspell’s one act play Trifles is a clever tale which highlights the method which women were dismissed in the early twentieth century and perhaps in some ways still today. Glaspell uses the scene of a horrible criminal offense to engage the audience and then provide her social message. This play is primarily about the method which ladies in her day were disregarded.
The play occurs in a farm house in the Midwest throughout the present day, around 1916. Mr. Henderson, a county lawyer, and Mr.
Peters, a sheriff, have come to the farm to examine the strangling murder of John Wright. One of John Wright’s neighbors named Mr. Hale discovered the body and discovered Mrs. Wright sitting downstairs acting in an odd way. He has actually come to help them with his testimony. 2 ladies accompany them, the constable’s partner Mrs. Peters and the next-door neighbor’s other half, Mrs. Hale. As the play unfolds, the males remain baffled by the absence of any evidence pointing directly to Ms. Wright as the killer. The case will not be totally fixed due to an obvious lack of proof of any intention.
The 2 male detectives see ladies’s values and inspirations in a rude light– as mere trifles– and since of this mindset they fundamentally misconstrue the criminal offense they are examining and turn the 2 ladies into opponents who secure Mrs. Wright by damaging the evidence. The males fail to see the home chaos as proof. When entering the home, the poor maintenance in the household is apparent to all four characters in this play. The County Attorney exclaims, “Unclean towels! Not much of a house cleaner, would you say girls?” (1114 ). The women protect Mrs.
Wright. Mrs. Hale responds, “Those towels get filthy dreadful fast. Men’s hands aren’t constantly as tidy as they may be” (1114 ). And after the men are out of earshot, Mrs. Hale is clearly relating to Mrs. Wright when she complains: “I ‘d hate to have men entering into my cooking area, snooping around and criticizing” (1114 ). Although all 4 characters acknowledge that your house is not well kept, but only the women immediately understand that something was terribly wrong. The men go no additional with their interpretation of what the ladies immediately acknowledge as signs of discord in the home.
A main piece of evidence in this play is a quilt that is being made by the suspect, Mrs. Wright, at the time of the murder. Upon inspecting Mrs. Wright’s things, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters encounter an unfinished quilt. It is Mrs. Hale who notifications that the last area of the quilt is various. She explains to Mrs. Peters that the stitching in the majority of the quilt is strong and thoroughly knitted. This is in sharp contrast to the most recent piece of quilt. This last area has actually misplaced stitches and the bad workmanship which would occur under a high degree of emotional distress. Mrs.
Hale understands this just minutes after the county lawyer complains about a missing piece of proof describing: “It’s all perfectly clear except a factor for doing it. However you understand juries when it concerns ladies. If there was some certain thing. Something to reveal– something to make a story about– a thing that would link up with this odd method of doing it” (1121 ). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters understand that they are, in truth, taking a look at the precise evidence the county lawyer had in mind. Mrs. Hale quietly undoes the stitching. Another critical piece of evidence is the knot stitching in the quilt.
Early in the play, the constable discounts the silliness of ladies talking about the kind of sewing utilized to construct a quilt in the middle of an important murder scene, exclaiming sarcastically, “They wonder if she was going to quilt it or simply knot it!” (1116 ). The point of view of the constable is clearly one in which he belittles female concerns over such a little detail when what he views as a genuine concern, such as murder, remains in question. The constable and county attorney ultimately fail to understand, and even consider, the critical nature of this proof.
At the end of the play, the constable takes a minute to tease the ladies a bit more about this subject. His sarcastic question about the quilting design is answered by a wicked pun from the author. Mrs. Hale describes that Mrs. Wright, instead of quilting it, was going to “knot it” (1121 ). Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters understand that this referral to a knot is in fact a direct referral to the method which Mrs. Wright killed her spouse, by tying a knot around his neck and strangling him to death. She connected a knot in the quilt the very same method she connected a knot around her spouse’s neck.
The paradox of this pun is that this very proof, viewed as laughable by the county lawyer, is actually central to the murder of Mr. Wright. Although the knot is right in front of his face, he would not have the ability to see the meaning of it in a million years. The most obvious piece of evidence missed out on by the male detectives is the singing bird. As the females are collecting clothing and products to bring to Mrs. Wright at the prison, they encounter a bird cage. 3 questions are immediately obvious. First, why exists a bird cage but no bird?
Second, what occurred to the door of the bird cage? Obviously, this results in the 3rd and final crucial question: if the bird is missing out on, where is it? Within a few minutes, the women discover the fate of the bird. They discover the animal hidden away with terrific care. It is covered in silk inside Mrs. Wright’s fanciest sewing box. Plainly this was a kind of burial, a shrine to a cherished animal. The females make all of the central connections in between the dead bird and the crime that the males are investigating. They instantly recognize that the singing bird was Mrs.
Wright’s only companion. Mrs. Peters keeps in mind that the hinge on one side of the door has been removed and not fixed as if someone broke into the cage to eliminate the animal. They see clearly that the bird’s neck was broken and understand that this cherished pet was killed out of shear meanness by the overbearing; soul-crushing Mr. Wright. Mrs. Peters volunteers a story about among her own family pets that was eliminated by young boys that she understood when she was younger. They immediately understand that Mrs. Wright murdered her hubby in retaliation for this harsh act.
They see that this was the motive behind this murder. The bird in this play is a reminder of the care-free, singing, more youthful Minnie Foster who has now end up being the lonesome, unpleasant Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale’s recollections link the bird to Mrs. Wright. She describes to Mrs. Peters that when she was single years ago, Minnie Foster was well known in the community for being pretty, well dressed, and singing like a bird in the choir. Mrs. Hale observes, remembering Minnie Foster’s singing, that “he eliminated that too” (1120 ).
The central misunderstanding in this play is the male detective’s inability to understand the significance of the readily offered evidence. As the title suggests, the men see ladies’s work and ladies’s issues as mere trifles. The men talk about the poor house cleaning in the home but do not appear to comprehend why or how it is related to the murder they are examining. The males fail to see why the bird cage is important evidence. The guys examining the criminal activity make no effort to take a look at the quilting done by Mrs. Wright. The women, on the other hand, see all of these things in plain relief.
They comprehend that the worn-out condition of the home and the poor housekeeping criticized by the male investigators reflect the increasing alienation and despair of Mrs. Wright. The ladies immediately see the significance of the quilt. They acknowledge the incriminating nature of the psychological distress reflected in the shoddy last section of the quilt. They also find the essential proof of the case by examining the sewing box. The women find the killed bird. When they do, they right away see that the bird is the lynch pin of the case. The bird is the intention.
The bird discusses, both in regards to meaning and in the truth of its damaged neck, what actually occurred to John Wright. He murdered the bird, so she killed him The blindness of the guys to the nature of the criminal offense and their condescension to Mrs. Wright emboldens the women at the scene to ruin proof. Both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters make it clear that they blame themselves for having been poor friends to Mrs. Wright. Perhaps Mrs. Hale puts this finest when she states “I stayed away due to the fact that it weren’t pleasant– which’s why I should have come” (1118 ).
They even resolve to bring Mrs. Wright her bottle of protects as a token of their issue and understanding. Consequently, Mrs. Hale destroys the proof of the bad stitching on the last quilt section. She does this because she understands that this is really incriminating evidence due to the fact that it reflects Mrs. Wright’s emotional state. Following this, both Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters further damage the proof by hiding the dead bird. When the men asked what took place to the bird, Mrs. Hale lies: “We think– the feline got it” (1119 ). Mrs. Peters might oppose Mrs.
Hale. By not doing so she is also consenting to lie and assisting Mrs. Hale in the destruction of proof. In the last scene, both females try to hide the body of the bird and Mrs. Hale is successful. They understand that the guys are blind to the genuine motivation and nature of this criminal activity. They are unafraid to destroy proof which they know the men are too self-absorbed to find by themselves. The play Trifles is a play about the lack of point of view males have for ladies’s issues. At every turn, evidence for this criminal activity is available and plain to see.
The male private investigators fail to see the proof of the murder because of their disrespect of things that are very important to women. In addition, by being so dismissive and callous, they turn the 2 females who really understand the crime against them. In the end, they fail to see much of the proof. The women hide the staying proof easily. The women really comprehend the criminal offense and are certainly not going to assist in the prosecution of a female who they realize has actually been dealt with so inadequately. Glaspell is telling us to be careful seeing other individuals’s work, hopes, and dreams as trifles.